High-power modules allow energy-efficient trains to drive decarbonisation

12-05-2023 | Infineon | Power

Infineon Technologies AG has added two new products to its CoolSiC power module portfolio: the FF2000UXTR33T2M1 and the FF2600UXTR33T2M1. The power modules employ newly developed 3.3kV CoolSiC MOSFETs and the company's interconnection technology .XT. The modules come in the XHP2 package and have been especially tailored for traction applications.

Developed for demanding applications such as traction, these devices were presented at this year's PCIM conference. "For environmentally friendly mobility, rail technology requires innovative semiconductor solutions designed specifically for these applications," said Dr Peter Wawer, division president of Infineon's Green Industrial Power Division. "With low switching losses and the ability to enable higher switching frequencies, Infineon's new silicon carbide products contribute to greener and quieter trains, which are extremely important features for tomorrow's train traffic."

As well as an efficient and robust SiC chip, power modules for traction drives need packaging that enables fast switching and interconnection technologies that provide a long service life. The company's new power modules supply these features: The CoolSiC MOSFET chips with integrated body diodes in the XHP 2 packaging provide low switching losses while delivering high reliability and power density.

The packaging also offers low stray inductance, a symmetrical and scalable design, and high current carrying capability. The FF2000UXTR33T2M1 module delivers a drain-source-on-state resistance of 2mOhm, while the FF2600UXTR33T2M1 has a drain-source-on-state resistance of 2.6mOhm. Despite the tough operating profiles of trains, the .XT interconnect technology enhances power cycling capabilities.

Compared to traditional solutions, the company's CoolSiC power modules provide overall energy consumption in the motor and converter of the train to be lowered by 10%. Furthermore, train operators gain from a more compact, lighter converter and a simplified cooling system. While this is paying into the decarbonisation efforts of the company, traction manufacturers and railway service operators, citizens also gain from lower noise levels when trains go through a neighbourhood. A SiC-based XHP 2 power module was proven in a joint field test with streetcars by Siemens Mobility and Stadtwerke München in 2022. The test has shown that power semiconductors based on SiC greatly reduce engine noise throughout the operation.

By Seb Springall